Polk County Commissioner Recaps 2021 in End of Year Interview

Polk County Commissioner Recaps 2021 in End of Year Interview

December 20, 2021 Uncategorized 0

By: Mary Balstad marybalstad@rjbroadcasting.com

Polk County, MN – With the end of 2021 right around the corner, Polk County Commissioner Joan Lee gave the final update and recap of the year. Starting the conversation with COVID guidelines and how the pandemic is continually affecting the commissioner offices, Lee reports that meetings throughout the first-half of the year were held at the transfer station to allow for social distancing. The July 6th meeting marked the move back to the Government Center for the meetings. Smaller points included the election of a vice chair, which Lee herself was elected to. The Polk County Sheriff’s department also brought on a new recruit, their second K-9 unit, Rex. There was also over $600,000 in business relief grants pushed out to local businesses, made possible through the CARES funding.

Commissioner Lee also covered the damaged done to the juvenile detention center in Crookston. While under construction, Crookston received unexpected rainfall during the summer. With the roof issue, the unsecured structure caused clients to be housed at other locations at a greater cost. The county is hoping to open the Center in the Fall of 2022.

An update on the Enbridge Tax Court was also provided. After a number of years, the counties affected by the tax court were assisted by the legislature. However, Polk county is still owed about $4,000.

Other financial topics Lee spoke about were the ARPA Funds granted to the county. Totaling $6.2 million, $50,000 went toward septic system updates, and some funds were used in the 2022 budget in departments that showed revenue loss. Lee says townships can possibly qualify under ARPA Funds for projects. However, Lee reports that there is difficulty in hiring at the Polk County offices, causing uncertainties in departments and budgets.

The non-levy budget revenues is approximately $33,000. In order to balance the budget with the ARPA Funds, a little over $1 million to apply onto the budget for revenue loss in different departments, as reported earlier. Polk County Commissioner Joan Lee can be heard on the ‘Food for Thought’ program every 2nd Monday of the month.